Child and Adolescent Psychiatry | Fellow Life

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The faculty and staff of UIC/IJR are deeply committed to teaching. The training program has comprehensive seminars addressing the wide range of educational topics related to child and adolescent psychiatry and the practice of medicine.  Seminars are interdisciplinary and often include social work and psychology interns. Additionally, seminars are conducted with Rush University Medical Center Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellows as well. We have developed a cooperative affiliation for these didactics which has benefited both programs.

Courses are continually reviewed by both teaching faculty and fellows. These reviews have led to some revisions based primarily on adult learning theory with the emphasis on active learning and fewer didactics using the lecture format. We are excited about these changes and will be continuing to evaluate and improve our didactics.

First-year didactics

The first-year didactics are given on Thursday mornings during protected time and provide an overview of basic issues needed to "get up to speed" and function clinically over the next two years. These courses include "Child Psychiatry Basics," "Introduction to Child Psychopharmacology," “Normal Development,” “Developmental Psychopathology," "School Consultation," "Child-focused Family Therapy," "Psychiatry and The Law," "Psychological Testing," “Cultural Psychiatry,” “Systems of Care,” and "Basic Neurobiology" which are taken in the Summer and Fall. The course "Understanding and Treating Disorders in Childhood" begins in the fall and continues throughout the year, integrating psychopathology, diagnosis, and treatment planning and is presently organized around diagnostic categories. Starting in the winter and continuing into the spring "Dynamic Child Psychotherapy” is taught conjointly with the second-year fellows. Multiple other psychotherapeutic modalities are formally taught including cognitive behavior therapy, family therapy, parent-child interaction therapy, parent management training, and dialectal behavioral therapy.  Moreover, the first- and second-year fellows meet weekly for “Journal Club.” Additionally, formal trainings on trauma informed interventions and diagnostic testing for ASD are provided.  Fellows from both years participate in a workshop on wellness and board review during seminar time.


Second-year didactics

The second-year didactics are given on Thursday mornings during protected time. Second year didactics are considered advanced and rely more on discussion and utilization of clinical knowledge and practice to share and expand clinical skills. During the summer when the first-year fellows are learning basics, the second-year fellows have "Realities of Practice after Graduation” where fellows learn practical approaches to prepare for the transition into clinical practices. In the fall they begin “Advanced Psychopharmacology” and “Advanced Psychodynamic Theory.” In winter fellows take “Forensic Psychiatry” and begin “Dynamic Child Psychotherapy” which continues for the remainder of the year. In the spring fellows take “Advanced Neurobiology” as well which includes an interactive national curriculum from the National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative. Second-year fellows also participate in a Quality Improvement project which can culminate in a publication.


There is always more to learn! Department Grand Rounds occur weekly and often topics in child and adolescent psychiatry are presented as well as several special seminars throughout the year. During both years, fellows actively participate in the weekly "Journal Club", that is organized by the chief fellows. In addition fellows have protected time both years to develop basic research skills and engage in supported research projects. This structure two year research seminar culminates in a group research project in an area of their choice and possible publication.